Most of us like ways to save time and money all at the same time. With the weather getting colder, using a slow cooker once or twice a week for savory soups, stews and a host of other delicious and easy recipes can be a time saver and an easy way to make dinner.
In a recent survey, the NPD Group found that the use of slow cookers grew 36 percent between 1998 and 2008 (used for 1 percent of main meals last year). NPD projects that their usage will grow by 16 percent between 2008 and 2018.
Slow cookers save time by allowing you to make dinner ahead of time when you have the time. I often get the meal ready for the slow cooker while cleaning up the breakfast or lunch dishes. Some slow cookers even come with timers so you can set it up in the morning and come home from work to a hot meal.
Slow cookers also save money by taking tougher–and cheaper–cuts of meat and turning it into fall-off-the-bone tender and delicious. Chuck and arm roasts, spare ribs and other cuts of beef, lamb and pork can be turned into great-tasting meals. I also use my slow cooker to cook an entire chicken for a quick and easy meal.
There are many slow cooker cookbooks out there. My personal favorite is the Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes.
So break out your slow cooker and make dinner work for you and your schedule. If you don’t have a slow cooker, now’s the perfect time to either buy one for yourself (with all the holiday sales starting) or put it on your wish list.
Until next time,